Senate committee proposes ban on sugar, rice importation

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The Senate committee on trade wants the government to ban importation of foodstuff that are locally available to safeguard Kenyans from harmful counterfeits.

Committee chairperson senator Charles Kibiru questioned why the government was allowing importation of rice and sugar whose safety was in question while local farmers were producing similar products.

The government formed a multi-agency team to specifically address the issue of contrabands that were a threat to the local manufacturing sector, denied the country tax revenue and were a health as well as safety risk for Kenyans.

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The multi-agency team conducted raids that discovered that some of the imported sugar was contaminated and rice had expired.

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This has drawn the attention of the Senate Committee on Trade that is questioning why the government was allowing importation of rice and sugar whose safety was in question while local farmers were producing similar products.

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The team that consists the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Kenya Revenue Authority, Anti-Counterfeit Agency and the National Police Service wants the Kenya Ports Authority included noting that the agency oversees ports of entry for imported goods.

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The multi-agency taskforce on illicit goods claims the war on counterfeits is bearing fruit with goods worth over 80 billion shillings having been destroyed.

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